A Toast to Fordham’s Trees

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Fordham at Rose Hill sophomore Blair Brunetti recalls her frequent childhood visits with her grandparents, who are avid gardeners.

“They have a beautiful back yard, and they loved doing their own landscaping,” she said. “I’d always ask them what kinds of trees they were putting in so I learned the different types–like the Purple Leaf Plum, Sugar Leaf Maple, and Blue Spruce. I learned a lot.”

Last October, Brunetti entered a tree-naming competition sponsored by the Departments of Biology and Classics to name as many trees on the Rose Hill campus as possible using their Latin names—good practice for the biology major because, she said, Latin is important in taxonomy and the naming of new species.

Sugar Maple on Fordham campusaSo while she walked to classes on campus, she took photos of trees she recognized and then looked up the Latin names, which she said correspond to a unique naming system.

“A lot of the plants are named after the people that discover them or for their characteristics— like there was one plant that used nasum, which is the [Latin]  word for nose, because the leaves looked like a nose,” she said.

Brunetti won the contest by correctly naming 10 campus species of trees. She said her favorite tree is near Martyrs’ Court, a Red Maple (pictured to the right.)

“It’s Acer Rubrum,” she said. “It’s very bright and vibrant. A crimson color. It really stands out.”

Brunetti said she hopes other students and members of the Fordham community take the time to stop and notice the trees–especially on Arbor Day, April 28.

“Part of the reason I love Fordham is because of the beautiful landscaping on campus,” she said. “It’s like being at home in nature.”

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